Sports First Responder Level 3 (VTQ)

201 videos, 10 hours and 55 minutes

Course Content

Cardiac Arrest and Pregnancy

Video 49 of 201
3 min 46 sec
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Managing Cardiac Arrest in Pregnant Women: Essential Considerations


Dealing with a cardiac arrest in a pregnant woman presents unique challenges for first responders, paramedics, and doctors. Understanding the complexities and adjusting resuscitation techniques accordingly is crucial for the best possible outcome.

Key Considerations

  • Recognition: Recognize that resuscitation involves not only the pregnant woman but also the unborn child and concerned family members.
  • Defibrillation: Despite pregnancy, defibrillators are still used as the priority is the mother's survival, which is essential for the child.
  • Positioning: Positioning the pregnant woman on her left side at a 30 to 40-degree angle helps relieve pressure on the aorta and ensures better blood flow to vital organs.
  • CPR Technique: Perform CPR at an angle between the mother and baby to optimize compression effectiveness, considering the presence of the unborn child.

Procedure Details

Defibrillation pads placement, shock delivery, and the entire CPR process remain the same as with a normal adult. However, the left lateral positioning is crucial for effective resuscitation.

Emotional Support

Given the traumatic nature of cardiac arrest in pregnant women, both for the patient and responders, it's essential to remain calm and methodical. Post-resuscitation, seeking counselling or support is advisable to cope with the emotional toll.

While rare, cardiac arrest in pregnant women is highly distressing for all involved. Proper training, clear protocols, and emotional support are essential for managing such challenging situations.

Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit two LO1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2 & 2.3